Emma Corrin is ‘fashion’s next muse,’ British Vogue editor Edward Enninful declares in his letter introducing the magazine’s October issue, which stars the actress, who will play Diana, Princess of Wales in the forthcoming season of The Crown, on its cover.
In the cover image, Corrin poses in a Diana-tastic cobalt dipped hem ballgown by Oscar de la Renta, her hair swept up in an Eighties tribute swoosh of quiff. Excerpts from the shoot which will appear inside the issue show her sporting more Diana-esque looks, including a checked country-chic Gucci blazer and a Chanel frill-collar blouse.
It’s a fashion splash designed not only to create excitement for season four of Netflix’s dramatic retelling of the Queen’s reign, which is set to land on Netflix on November 15, but also to crown Corrin as an up-and-coming style star. She is, after all, portraying one of the 20th century’s most compelling fashion icons.
Corrin’s stylist has given an interview to Vogue to coincide with the cover’s release discussing the strategy he has sketched out for the 24-year-old as she begins her red carpet ‘campaign’ ahead of the the series’ release.
Harry Lambert, the man behind Harry Styles’ agenda-setting fashion choices, points out that although, “people still reference [Diana] today, which just shows the longevity of her enduring style… And that’s because she took risks and did things with a rebellious spirit,” he’s nevertheless, “not trying to dress Emma like Diana. Emma is her own person. I don’t want to do anything too expected”.
If she is to become the muse which Enninful hopes, then carving out her own look will be essential to Corrin’s evolution in the coming months, but in a trip to Venice Film Festival in recent days – which has cleverly coincided with the Vogue cover release – echoes of Diana’s style have been as much in evidence as they are in the magazine.
On Sunday evening, Corrin attended Miu Miu’s Women’s Tales event, a series of short films by young women directors. For her first appearance since lockdown, Corrin was, naturally, dressed by Miu Miu in a long black dress with a white cotton, lace-trimmed Chelsea collar neckline.
Anyone familiar with Diana’s early Eighties, Sloane Ranger style would have instantly noticed the similarities. Lady Di was famous for her love of statement collars with girlish details and she made black dresses a cornerstone of her wardrobe, even if the colour was considered rebellious for a royal for whom black might traditionally have been reserved for mourning.
On Monday afternoon, as news was breaking of her Vogue debut, Corrin was back out and about in Venice again, this time wearing Miu Miu’s sailor collar shirt tucked into a black leather midaxi skirt. Admittedly, a leather skirt was one item which Diana never tried, but with sailor chic, she was in her element – it was a look she trialled for her first photo opportunity with the Queen, and many times after that, especially when carrying out naval engagements.
If Diana epitomised 80s princess sweetness and light in the early years of her royal life, then the way Corrin is styling her Miu Miu wardrobe shows that she has mastered 2020 edge, wearing her hair slicked back and eyes lined in thick kohl on Sunday evening.
This modern beauty approach also means her Diana-like fashion choices remain more of a knowing nod than a costume-esque tribute
– although could that wet look hair have been inspired by the radical shots of Diana attending the CFDA awards in 1995 with a just-out-of-the-shower look, courtesy of hair stylist Sam McKnight?
Not that Venice is the first time that Corrin has echoed some of Diana’s most famous looks. At a party hosted by Vogue and Tiffany & Co. in February, she wore a three-piece suit from Celine’s menswear collection, a boldly boyish look which mirrored the Princess’s decision to ditch ballgowns in favour of tailoring in the late Eighties. And in early March, she took part in a press conference wearing a suitably regal Miu Miu floral frock.
Lambert hints that he and Corrin have grand plans to introduce more avant-garde ensembles to her repertoire in the coming weeks. “The point is she’s still young – she should look youthful and fun, and not like a serious Susan,” he explains. Whether she continues to emulate Diana or not, the Princess would surely be proud of the fearless fashion daring shown by the woman portraying her, almost forty years after the beginning of her trailblazing royal life.